Aug 02, 2016 News
– Main cause is inefficient airline operations– official
Outgoing passengers at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) during the course of Sunday and yesterday, have been an emotional rollercoaster due to the frequent delays and cancellation of flights from several Airlines.
This occurrence has resulted in the authorities scampering to find solutions to the problem amidst angry passengers demanding answers from their respective flight services including Insel Air, Dynamic Airlines and Eastern Airlines.
A Senior Official at the Airport stated yesterday that the delays may have stemmed from a problem being experienced by the Americas II Cable located off the French Caribbean island of Martinique.
The apparent collapse of this cable, which feeds data to SITA – an information technology (IT) company that provides IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry – has rendered the Automated Airlines Check-in services inoperable resulting in airlines conducting their check-ins manually – a process that takes hours longer, the official explained.
Another airline spokesperson said that 90 percent of the cancellations and delays are due to operationalisation issues on the part of the airlines and not the Airport. As if to solidify this claim, he pointed out that some airlines including Caribbean Airlines and Fly Jamaica are still operating effectively despite this setback.
He admitted that two flights belonging to Caribbean Airlines had to ‘turn back’ but the issue was unrelated to issue being faced but rather, the density of fog that was present yesterday morning. These planes landed later.
The Airport subsequently issued a statement advising the travelling public that it is working with its stakeholders to ensure the Check-in services are restored as soon as possible.
“…Some airlines are experiencing cancellations due to crew rotation and other operational issues during this peak season. The management of CJIAC will continue to work with its service providers to ensure that the Airline Check-in services are returned to normalcy in the fastest possible time.”
The Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) also issued a release stating that the ‘cable consortium’ has been working tirelessly to restore this service and will continue to provide updates.
“GTT has redundant infrastructure and is working with the airline reservation management system, SITA, to migrate to redundant routes. GTT would like to reassure customers that the internet infrastructure is working well via the redundant paths.
“Not even a glass of water…”
Meanwhile back at the Airport tensions were running high. Passengers were venting their frustration at both airport and airline staff particularly those operating Eastern Airline and Dynamics Airline, demanding answers.
This is the peak season that causes delays for some airlines. The newer airlines have not been handling their passengers efficiently causing even further delays, a spokesman said.
One passenger, Godfrey Marks, told this publication that he had arrived at the CJIA on Sunday for a 9am flight only to find that his flight was being pushed back.
“From 9 (am) to 4 (pm) and they change it to 12 (midnight) then to 5am then they told us to wait till some time after 10 am. They did not say anything while we stayed in the waiting area and then we decide to go out while other passengers were quarrelling up to find out what was going on,” the man stated.
Marks added that among the passengers that were ‘stranded’ were several Cub Scouts who were present in Guyana for the 14th Cuboree.
According to reports, some 800 to 1000 scouts had arrived in Guyana last week and were scheduled to return home last Sunday.
“They (cub scouts) still here; sleeping on the ground. They didn’t even offer us a glass of water since we here, or anything to eat. All the reps (airline representatives) not responding to our calls. The number that we usually call them on is ringing out and the people here are very angry.”
Kaieteur News understands that some passengers were given their baggage and were told to return today.
Marks is questioning who is going to pay for transportation and accommodation since many passengers are required to stay one more day in the country.
Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports coming out of Trinidad where law enforcement officials had to be summoned to escort passengers off of aircraft after they refused to disembark.
Kaieteur News has also received several distressed calls from persons overseas who are inquiring about the situation as they await the arrival of their loved ones.
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